Getting F&B back to business: Guest safety above all

The next topic in my short series of blogs about how to prepare for the reopening of your F&B operation concerns the specific steps you should be taking to enable your guests to feel comfortable using your outlets without the fear of contracting the invisible coronavirus. (Read the first in the series, which addresses employee training, among other things.)

Restaurant and bar layout

  • Re-draw the floor plan of each restaurant bar so that there is a minimum of 6 feet between tables
  • Do the same for your bar chairs, marking their positions on the floor  
  • Draw lines on the floor outside the restaurant 6 feet apart to indicate where guests should stand while waiting for a table
  • Limit parties to no more than six people per table
  • No salad bars or buffets!
  • If your casual restaurant has booths, consider installing plexiglass between each booth
Getty Images
Getty Images


  • I strongly recommend that only guests with reservations be allowed inside, given that you must manage how many guests can be in the space at any one time.
  • Offer a ‘pre-order to go’ service to allow your guests to dine in their rooms or in a more remote area of the hotel.

 Restaurant and bar service

  • Do you have patios or alternate areas where you can set up tables to serve food? 
  • Create a policy for thoroughly sanitizing tables and any other commonly used items after each use
  • Provide hand sanitizer for staff and guests
  • Require that all guests use hand sanitize prior to entering the restaurant 
  • Have some face masks available for guests if they wish to wear one
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning in public restrooms
  • Do not pre-set tables
  • Cutlery: In more casual restaurants, offer disposable utensils; otherwise, use rolled silverware packets
  • Single-use napkins, placemats and drink mats
  • Single-use menus
  • Single-use check presenters; offer contactless pay and no cash
  • Condiments should be single service, including salt and pepper (and I suggest making this on request only)
  • All straws should be wrapped
  • Discontinue any complimentary self-serve coffee, tea or refreshments
  • Eliminate self-service drinks, utensils and condiment stations
  • Ensure you re-train ALL employees on your new standards 


  • Clearly communicate your new standards on your website. Guests will feel reassured to know what you are doing.
  • Email your new standards to all guests reserving tables 
  • Post a clear notice at the entrance of each restaurant explaining your new policies, procedures and standards